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Reacts: Lakers still seen as heavy favorites to win Western Conference

NBA fans still believe in the ultimate potential of this Lakers team, despite some early hiccups.

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Phoenix Suns v Los Angeles Lakers Photo by Andrew D. Bernstein/NBAE via Getty Images

Welcome to SB Nation Reacts, a survey of fans across the NBA. Each week, we send out questions to the most plugged in Los Angeles Lakers fans, and fans across the country. Sign up here to join Reacts, and check out DraftKings Sportsbook, the official sportsbook partner of SB Nation.

The Lakers may have suffered a disappointing loss on opening night, but while surely no one is happy about that, it also hasn’t impacted how fans around the NBA see their ceiling.

This team is going to need some time to adjust to one another, but in the meantime, they’re still seen as the heavy favorites to come out of the Western Conference, according to our latest SB Nation NBA Reacts survey:

To do so, they’d have to stop the Suns from raising another Western Conference Championship banner, which yes, hilariously, is something they actually do.

But early issues aside, this Lakers team still has a lot of time to rebound. Game 1 went poorly, but they have 81 more to get healthy and figure things out.

Similarly in the Eastern Conference, the Brooklyn Nets getting demolished by the Milwaukee Bucks in their own season opener has not impacted how most fans see their ultimate potential as a contender:

Elsewhere in early season predictions, the MVP award voting provided something of a slight surprise, as no Lakers made the top three in our fan vote asking who would win the award:

This may be due to the team having three stars, and two — in Anthony Davis and LeBron James — with real MVP potential this year, theoretically siphoning votes from each other. Because of the presence of those two and a former MVP in Russell Westbrook, it feels unlikely that voters would pick them because of how much help they have, but Durant would theoretically face a similar situation should Kyrie Irving ever return, and Giannis Antetokounmpo has already won the two MVPs prior to this and seemed to deal with voter fatigue last year.

When considering all that, maybe we shouldn’t be shocked that so many people are picking Luka Doncic, the potential next face of the NBA.

And speaking of potential post-LeBron faces of the league, we also polled fans on who they think will win Rookie of the Year this season, and the top two picks in the draft are neck-and-neck. This should be a really fun race this year:

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